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The photo that started it all

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  • #16
    I have studied the photo a little more and speculate the following;

    It looks to me as if there is some type of "post assembly" retro-fit or repair that required the work to be done from the driver's side since the fenders on that side have protective covers. It could be that - 1) something happened during assembly that was not caught until later 2) it was determined cheaper to keep the line moving and fix the problem later - 3) assembly could have run out of a certain part that had to be installed "off-line."

    I have seen these scenarios in modern auto plants. During the initial start-up phase at the local BMW plant, they ran out of metric bolts and finished some assembly using nominal bolts after raiding a few local hardware stores just to keep the line moving. All the cars from this run were scrapped.

    As far as the pipes seen in the pictures, you have to realize that Studebaker had suffered several catastrophic fires by this time and these could be water sources for in plant fire fighting, or a system for connecting automotive engine exhaust when needed for operating an engine in an enclosed building. Also, the pipes appear to be wrapped in insulation (probably the dreaded asbestos material). By this time many of their buildings had been retrofitted from being used in horse-drawn vehicles to automobiles.

    Whatever the situation, this must have been an interesting and exciting time. Wouldn't you like to have a brief time travel moment to walk through this building touching and smelling the scene as you listen to the echo of your foot steps. What a moment in time!

    (Edit: I went back once again and enlarged the picture. Looking again at the column pipes, it looks to be like sheet metal stove-pipe. I think it is an "air handling" system for taking away engine exhaust.)
    Last edited by jclary; 03-15-2011, 06:02 AM.
    John Clary
    Greer, SC

    SDC member since 1975


    • #17
      Looks like engine break in and valve adjustments happening. those hoods would be in the way, so they are off to the side and the rags on the fenders for oil splash and to protect the fenders...... I do believe those ducts are for venting the room. You can almost see the fumes still hanging in the air from a long days work......